Residents' perception of earthen dwellings in Iran

Ahmadreza Foruzanmehr*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Although examples of traditional courtyard houses still exist in traditional neighbourhoods of many cities in central Iran, these buildings have been subject to fundamental changes. Considering the impact of all of these changes, the likelihood of a continuing close match between design and user requirements in the traditional house is rather dubious, requires further exploration and explanation, and systematic empirical work. Furthermore, in spite of the existence of a situation where vernacular houses are seen in a state of decline, being replaced by modern counterparts or used for new purposes, these buildings are still cited in academic literature as models of socially acceptable and sustainable practice. In order to find out more about this paradoxical situation, we need to know not only about the buildings themselves, but also about the attitudes and opinions of the actual users of these buildings. This article critically and systematically analyses the way in which actual vernacular environments have been subject to changes due to socio-cultural challenges, taking into account the perception of their actual users. It encourages an awareness of how relevant many traditional features are to the modern challenges for building sustainable environments. This also generates an understanding of how they may be upgraded to help provide truly sustainable and comfortable buildings for the new millennium.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)179-199
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sustainable Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013


    • central courtyard houses
    • change
    • earth buildings
    • Iran
    • sustainable
    • traditional
    • vernacular dwellings

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
    • Development
    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Urban Studies


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